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Electric cars are already causing some grid failures in Australia

Posted By Jo Nova On April 10, 2019 @ 4:33 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

EV ownership in Australia is only 1 car in 4,000 of all our cars on the road. Yet already they are causing streets to go black, and possibly blowing transformers which need replacing “more often”:

Electric cars are already causing some grid failures

Robert Gottliebsen, The Australian

It’s a crisis that has been concealed from the vast majority of the population … The danger really came home to me when I met up with an affluent, long-time Melbourne acquaintance who lives in a street where there are six Tesla cars.  When they all try to charge their batteries at the same time, the power goes out in the street because the grid fails. Sometimes it fails when only three or four of them try to charge at the same time.

Australians only own 5,000 EV’s at present. Imagine the fun when 500,000 new EV’s hit the streets in 2030, and again in 2031, 2032,….

He talks about intermittent power causing “choppy” electron flows which make transformers hotter:

 To my horror I discovered that cities like Melbourne and Sydney are in danger of either experiencing explosions or even a complete collapse of the system.

Gottliebsen went on to find a solution (apart from the obvious one of “not rushing into EVs”). He found something called the Faraday Grid, developed in Australia, but ignored, so now based in Scotland and used by London and Tokyo.

But give me one reason not to just use cheap clean brown coal for the next 300 years, leave the grid as is, and use all the spare money for medical research and holidays in the Bahamas.

Apparently we are replacing transformers more often than we used to. Another hidden cost of renewables?

Suddenly the grid, instead of simply being a one-way traffic system, can handle different power sources coming from different directions. The Faraday installations replace the current transformers which, as it turns out, are now being replaced more frequently because they were never designed for the power pattern that is currently running through them.

This is dropped in as an aside, but where is the university study of transformer attrition and costs in Australia?

Engineering types may want to find out more about the Faraday Grid or at PowerEngineeringInt.

The Faraday Grid is an autonomous, self-balancing network installed within an existing electricity grid. It comprises a network of independent autonomous hardware devices called Faraday Exchangers which operate in isolation and are independent of any central network management. As such, the exchanger is designed to replace the function of existing electricity network infrastructure such as transformers, converters, inverters and rectifiers.

I can’t get excited. But maybe it’s good for some other reason.

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